Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Massachusetts Senate Passes Extensive Gun-Control Legislation

(George Frey/Getty Images)

Massachusetts State Senators, known for their stance against firearms, have recently approved a comprehensive gun-control legislation, S 2572, which aligns closely with the desires of those favoring strict gun bans.

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Passed by the Senate on February 1, the bill proposes significant restrictions for the state’s lawful gun owners. It aims to extend the existing ban on widespread semi-automatic rifles, potentially classifying a broad range of semi-auto rifles and many semi-auto shotguns as illegal.

Furthermore, S 2572 seeks to tighten the state’s “red-flag” laws. It proposes an expanded definition for the state’s “extreme risk protection order,” which includes the immediate suspension and surrender of any firearm licenses or identification cards held by the respondent, the surrender of all firearms and ammunition owned or controlled by the respondent, and prohibits the respondent from applying for new firearms licenses or identification cards for up to one year, with the possibility of renewal.

The legislation also proposes to increase the locations where carrying a firearm is prohibited, adding any state, county, and municipal buildings to the prohibited list.

Another significant change would be the requirement for serialization of all legally owned firearm parts, including a mandate that all firearms, rifles, and shotguns — whether complete or in parts — bear a valid serial number. This includes the requirement for serialization of unfinished frames or receivers before assembly.

Senate President Karen Spilka expedited the approval of this measure through the Senate without public consultation, underscoring the Democratic party’s disregard for the opinions of gun owners in the state.

In her statement, Spilka highlighted the Senate’s commitment to addressing gun violence, emphasizing the intent to protect residents, modernize laws, and support communities affected by gun-related violence. She expressed pride in leading a legislative body that prioritizes gun safety and positions the Commonwealth as a leader in this area nationally.

Following its passage in the Senate, the bill, mirroring a version previously passed by the House, is now headed to a joint committee tasked with reconciling differences between the two versions of the legislation.

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